Pea­cock who loved the river Thames

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NOSTALGIA -

THOMAS Love Pea­cock was once listed 62nd in a list com­piled by a na­tional news­pa­per of for­got­ten au­thors.

His­to­rian DON­ALD STAN­LEY looks at once cel­e­brated au­thor Thomas Love Pea­cock who was friends with the poet Shelley had four chil­dren.

Orig­i­nally his only son, Ed­ward Gtryffydh, served in the In­dian Navy but for health rea­sons re­turned to Eng­land where he qual­i­fied as a lawyer and fol­lowed his fa­ther by join­ing the East In­dia Com­pany and be­com­ing a pub­lished poet.

He re­flected his fa­ther’s love of the Thames when he be­came a mem­ber of the Thames Club, win­ning sev­eral races in­clud­ing the Di­a­mond Chal­lenge Sculls at Hen­ley Royal Re­gatta and the Wing­field Sculls.

Another sim­i­lar­ity was that be­fore meet­ing and mar­ry­ing his wife, the young Pea­cock’s en­gage­ment to another lady was ended by one of her rel­a­tives – an event com­mem­o­rated in his poem ‘Newark Abbey’.

It is un­der­stood that Pea­cock se­nior him­self dis­ap­proved of Ed­ward’s mar­riage.

His rambling and vague yet witty nov­els have been de­scribed as re­mark­able for their good sense and wit, and read­ing them com­pared to eaves­drop­ping on in­tel­lec­tu­als of the past con­vers­ing in an English pub.

He was one of many from the world of arts who have made their home in Mar­low such as Jerome K Jerome whilst writ­ing ‘Three Men in a Boat’, T S Eliot, and Pea­cock’s fel­low writer and friend Percy Bysshe Shelley for whom Pea­cock acted also as busi­ness agent.

Pea­cock’s school­ing ended when he was aged thir­teen but on his own he stud­ied French, Ital­ian and English lit­er­a­ture.

He taught him­self po­etry and it was his pub­lished po­ems that brought him to the at­ten­tion of Shelley.

Dur­ing this time he sup­ported him­self by clerk­ing which he in­ter­spersed with walks in­clud­ing one of two weeks trac­ing the Thames from its source to his mother’s home in Chert­sey.

He was in his mid- thir­ties when he was in­vited to join the East In­dia Com­pany in their drive to re­cruit tal­ented staff.

He did not dis­ap­point them, show­ing an ap­ti­tude for draft­ing of­fi­cial pa­pers and rep­re­sent­ing the com­pany be­fore par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees.

He spe­cialised in steam nav­i­ga­tion, su­per­in­tend­ing the con­struc­tion of iron steam­ers which round- ed the Cape to par­tic­i­pate in the Chi­nese War the Suez Canal not be­ing opened un­til 1869.

Pea­cock was de­scribed as a kind-hearted and ge­nial in­di­vid­ual who loved to share his en­joy­ment of life around him.

Through­out his time with the East In­dia Com­pany, from which he re­tired in 1856, he con­tin­ued to con­trib­ute to var­i­ous lit­er­ary pub­li­ca­tions.

Pea­cock mar­ried and

Pea­cocks wrote nov­els, po­etry and es­says

The Thames at Mar­low

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.